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Thursday, November 17, 2005

It Brockes my heart (not)

Not long ago I reported on the Guardian and its recent hatchet-job on Noam Chomsky. A partial apology has now appeared, while the original interview has disappeared from the Guardian website. Cock-up or conspiracy, the offending article shows the dangers of a newspaper having an almost religious fervour behind its self-righteousness. Let's have the facts instead.


Blogger John-Paul said...

It is telling that Chomsky has declined to accuse Brockes of inventing any of his actual quotes. He opts only for making the inspecific and unfalsifiable charge that she "[invents their] contexts". The Guardian's retraction says nothing about the fidelity with which Chomsky's statements were rendered. Therefore, the ones that stand alone should be considered accurate until Chomsky specifically and credibly disputes them.

The Srebrenica controversy has eclipsed the fact that Chomsky minimizes another set of atrocities in a different part of the interview: those of the European pogroms against the Jews. Chomsky refers to them as "not very bad, by contemporary standards". This is outrageously false, as an examination of the historical record shows. Chomsky's minimization of the pogroms, which (from the 16th to the 20th Centuries) claimed an estimated 300,000 Jewish lives, cannot be vindicated by an appeal to "invented contexts".

4:40 am  

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